Every quarter Gombert’s Student Council, comprised of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, completes a service project. The 3rd grade students had read an article in Time for Kids, about a young girl named Maria Keller. Maria, an 8-year-old at the time, had a goal to collect and distribute 1 million books and place them in the hands of kids in need by the time she was 18. It only took her 5 years to accomplish her goal. Her program is called Read Indeed (readindeed.org) and is still ongoing today. As of today, Maria has collected 1,070,008 books and is still going strong.
From this idea, one of the 3rd grade students was inspired to have a book drive as one of their service projects. The other student members agreed and that is where their idea came from. They did research for a local place to donate books, so they would not have to ship them to the Read Indeed collection location. The students agreed that they wanted to donate the books to the local community to benefit kids in the area.
Communities In Schools was selected as the recipient of the 1,000 elementary reading books. Lindsay Njos, 5th Grade teacher at Gombert, contacted Karen Harkness, Director of City Wide Youth Programs, Grants and Evaluations at CIS, and explained to her what the Student Council had agreed to do. “We would greatly accept any book donations to supplement our after school programs and summer camp programs throughout Aurora.
We have after school programs in 28 schools K-12 and will host 18 summer elementary camps, where we encourage reading each day. To have extra books available to students would be fabulous”, said Karen Harkness. The books were delivered to CIS in early April.
CIS wishes to thank Lindsay Njos, Nikki Shaffer, 4th Grade teacher at Gombert and co-advisor with Lindsay for Student Council for the 2013-2014 school year, and the Student Council students for all their efforts in organizing this service project.